Eden Gardens loses out on WC match

Bangalore likely to host Feb 27 India-England tie
Last Updated 27 January 2011, 18:51 IST

With the famed Eden Gardens on Thursday stripped off as the venue for a key World Cup match between India and England for its failure to meet the deadline for completion of renovation, the Chinnaswamy stadium is strongly tipped to get the match to be played on February 27.

ICC Chief Executive Haroon Lorgat conveyed the decision of taking Kolkata off as a venue for one match to the BCCI and, “as host, the BCCI will now consider an alternate venue for approval by the ICC,” a statement by the international cricket body said. The decision on an  alternative venue, however, will not be taken before January 31.

Specifying the reasons for taking away the match from Eden, the ICC said, “Of particular concern was the fact that host venue obligations in relation to cricket operations, media, broadcast and sponsorship facilities were not finalised and/or confirmed.

“All venues had ample time in which to prepare for World Cup matches. We had been understanding and had provided extensions to the deadline dates but unfortunately we are now at a point where we must carefully manage our risks,” Lorgat explained.

Apart from Delhi, Bangalore is the only other Indian venue hosting India matches that don’t involve ICC’s full-member nation, but given the dates of the ties, the City has a distinct advantage over others. The Karnataka State Cricket Association said it is prepared to host the match. “Officially we haven’t heard anything, but if given a chance, we will welcome the opportunity with open arms,” said KSCA President Anil Kumble.

Apart from their opening match against Bangladesh in Dhaka, India are scheduled to play all their league matches at home. Their first match on home soil was slated at the Eden Gardens which would now shift to another venue.

M S Dhoni’s men then would have moved to Bangalore (against Ireland on March 6), Delhi (Netherlands on March 9), Nagpur (South Africa on March 12) and Chennai (West Indies on March 20).

While the first World Cup match in Bangalore will be played on March 2, between England and Ireland, Delhi will host the West Indies and the Netherlands on February 28.

Since Delhi will have to host back-to-back matches, if allotted, Bangalore’s chances appear a tad brighter. The BCCI, besides looking at these logistical issues, will also have to consult broadcasters ESPN-STAR Sports before finalising the replacement venue.   

With Bangalore set to host its opening match only on March 2, it would appear a logical choice.  Cricket Association of Bengal President Jagmohan Dalmiya has written a letter to the BCCI requesting it to appeal to the ICC to extend the deadline for the completion of renovation work at the Eden Gardens.

(Published 27 January 2011, 11:49 IST)

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